Lunar New Year

Whitehorse City Council wishes a happy and prosperous new year to all those in our community who celebrate the Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger.

Due to rising COVID case numbers, Council acknowledges the decision of the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse (ABAW) to postpone the Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday 5 February 2022.

Lunar New Year falls on Tuesday 1 February 2022 and the animal sign will be the Tiger. In Chinese culture, people born in the year of the Tiger are considered independent, brave and adventurous.

Did you know? In China, the festival is commonly referred to as the Spring Festival (traditional Chinese: 春節; simplified Chinese: 春节; pinyin: Chūn Jié). In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is known as Tết. In Korea, it is known as Seollal (설날).

Lunar New Year marks the start of a new year and is an important day that is celebrated in different ways by different people. 

We spoke to some members of our community to understand what Lunar New Year means to them and how they will be celebrating the day.

T Huang, D Tang and S Wang

Tiffany Huang

For many young people like Tiffany, Lunar New Year is not only a chance to celebrate with family and friends but also learn more about their heritage.

“For me, Lunar New Year is about cultural traditions and family,” said Tiffany.

“Growing up in Australia, Lunar New Year was really just about receiving red pockets!

As I get older, it has become more important to understand the cultural traditions that underpin the celebrations. For instance, cleaning the house before Lunar New Year is important because it is about sweeping out the bad and welcoming in the good.”

Every Lunar New Year, Tiffany looks forward to spending time with family and friends at the Box Hill Chinese Festival.

“I go every year and it is always so much fun because there are so many different types of food, entertainment. There is so much going on and so many people – it’s full of colour and excitement,” said Tiffany.

“We’ve missed it so much! And I’m definitely looking forward to being able to go again this year.”

Duncan Tang

For Duncan Tang, who has lived in Australia for over forty years, Lunar New Year is important because it means a new beginning.

“Lunar New Year is about welcoming a new beginning – you wish that whatever bad luck that happened during the year will go away,” said Duncan.

“If you’ve had a good year, then you hope that your prosperity will continue into the New Year.”

Celebrating the day with his family, Duncan will also try to attend the different Chinese New Year Festivals around Melbourne.

“I like attending Chinese New Year Festivals because it is about celebrating tradition and reminds me of my heritage,” said Duncan.

In 2022, Duncan is particularly looking forward to welcoming the New Year with his grandchildren at the Box Hill Festival.

“The Box Hill Festival is great because it is the one day that everyone, old and young, comes together and greets each other in the spirit of the New Year.”

Sarah Wang

Every Lunar New Year, Sarah and her young family usually return home to Guangzhou, China to celebrate with her extended family.

Due to the lockdowns, Sarah has been unable to do this and for the last two years has found new ways to celebrate in Australia.

“We will invite some friends over and have a special dinner because Lunar New Year is a really important time for people to come together,” said Sarah.

“Lunar New Year is about gathering together to celebrate our cultural traditions and the connections that we have with each other.

One of the important traditions involves the younger generation paying their respects to the older generation and wishing them a prosperous New Year.”

She is also teaching her two young boys about these different traditions.

“My sons are very happy because Lunar New Year means they will receive the lucky money!

But I have been teaching about the meaning behind these tradition like why they receive red pockets and why they wear traditional clothes that day,” said Sarah.

Did you know?

The Lunar New Year day is different to the Gregorian (Western) calendar’s New Year’s Day. The date of the Lunar New Year Day falls on the new moon day of the first lunar month.

This means that Lunar New Year Day can fall anywhere between the second half of January and the first half of February.

In China, the festival is commonly referred to as the Spring Festival (traditional Chinese: 春節; simplified Chinese: 春节; pinyin: Chūn Jié). In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is known as Tết. In Korea, it is known as Seollal (설날).